Brain Research

U.S. News & World Report: Medication-free ways to treat Parkinson’s disease

People with Parkinson’s disease, the incurable neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement, have few options for medical treatment. Prescription medications can help manage symptoms, and an implantable device (a deep brain stimulator) can help control tremors – the hallmark of the condition. But many Parkinson’s patients don’t know about additional complementary or alternative treatments that can […]

Science Blog: Decades-old question answered in Alzheimer’s brain plaques

Alzheimer’s-affected brains are riddled with so-called amyloid plaques: protein aggregates consisting mainly of amyloid-β. However, this amyloid-β is a fragment produced from a precursor protein whose normal function has remained enigmatic for decades. A team of scientists at VIB and KU Leuven led by professors Joris de Wit and Bart De Strooper has now uncovered […]

CNN: Excessive body fat around the middle linked to smaller brain, study says

Big waist, small brain? If you’re too heavy, especially around your middle, you probably have shrunken gray matter volume in your brain, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology. Gray matter contains most of your brain’s 100 billion nerve cells, while white matter is filled with nerve fibers that connect the brain […]

The New York Times: Train your brain like a memory champion

You slide the key into the door and hear a clunk as the tumblers engage. You rotate the key, twist the doorknob and walk inside. The house is familiar, but the contents foreign. At your left, there’s a map of Minnesota, dangling precariously from the wall. You’re certain it wasn’t there this morning. Below it, […]

Bloomberg: The chance of developing stroke sometime during one’s lifespan is 25%

The probability of a person developing a stroke at some point during their remaining lifespan is seen at one in four globally on average, according to 2016 data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.The lifetime stroke risk for 25-year-olds ranged from 8 percent to almost 39 percent for people in China where the […]

Medical Xpress: Speeding up genetic diagnosis of Huntington’s disease

Elongated segments of DNA cause Huntington’s disease and certain other disorders of the brain. Researchers funded by the SNSF have developed a method to determine the length of the mutated genes quickly and easily. People with Huntington’s disease suffer from jerky body movements and decreasing mental abilities.(January 10, 2019) Read the full article here

Science Daily: Risky decisions: Excessive social media use is comparable to drug addiction

Bad decision-making is a trait oftentimes associated with drug addicts and pathological gamblers, but what about people who excessively use social media? New research shows a connection between social media use and impaired risky decision-making, which is commonly deficient in substance addiction. (January 10, 2019) Read the full article here

Ars Technica: The molecule that helps exercise protect the brain from Alzheimer’s

Sometimes data behaves so nicely, lining up just the way you want it to. In 2012, irisin was identified as a molecular messenger induced by exercise. In 2013, irisin was found to stimulate genes in the hippocampus, a region of the brain essential for making and storing memories. In 2017, epidemiological studies indicated that exercise […]

Science Blog: Decreased deep sleep linked to early signs of Alzheimer’s

Poor sleep is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. People with the disease tend to wake up tired, and their nights become even less refreshing as memory loss and other symptoms worsen. But how and why restless nights are linked to Alzheimer’s disease is not fully understood. (January 10, 2019) Read the full article here